Summer is in the rearview mirror – but that means that peak training season is just beginning, for many athletes! Working out in the cold weather is easy if you know what you’re doing – so in this article, we’ll take a look at some simple steps you can take to prepare for cold-weather workouts.
Whether it’s 40 degrees and raining, or even below freezing, these tips will keep you safe and comfortable!
- Get Warmed Up (Inside!)
The initial shock of going outside to work out when it’s freezing can be mitigated by a solid indoor warm-up session. When you get your muscles warmed up and work up a bit of a sweat, your core body temperature will start to rise – you’ll be your own space heater!
You can choose to jump rope indoors, or even do a basic stretching workout using our Devel Fitness SuperBands! The choice is yours.
- Don’t Overdress
Overdressing is common for newer athletes who have not had experience working out in cooler weather. If you’re planning a serious outdoor workout, you should dress as if it’s 10-20°F (5-10°C) warmer than it is outside.
You’re going to build up a sweat, and if you overdress for the weather, you’re going to be hot and uncomfortable during your workout. Here are a few recommendations:
- 15°C – A t-shirt/long-sleeved shirt and shorts
- 10°C – A long-sleeved base layer, t-shirt, shorts, gloves
- 5°C – A long-sleeved base layer, a long-sleeved shirt, tights and shorts, gloves
- 0°C – A long-sleeved base layer, running jacket, tights/track pants, gloves, a hat
These are just “rule-of-thumb” tips. Your own gear needs will depend on your weight, gender, workout plans, and your tolerance for the cold.
- Have A Plan To Deal With Sweat – Dress In Layers
You’re going to sweat – even when it’s nearly freezing outside. This can actually be a bad thing. Sweat is extremely effective at cooling our bodies. When it builds up on our skin and evaporates in the cold, it chills us very quickly.
Because of this, you should always wear at least 2 layers if temperatures are approaching (or below) freezing. This helps prevent sweat from evaporating directly off of your skin, and keeps you warmer.
- Recognize Cold-Weather Danger Signs
Frostbite and hypothermia are real dangers when exercising in extremely cold, below-freezing temperatures. With the proper gear, they’re easy to avoid – but you should still recognize the danger signs.
Hypothermia usually makes you feel sluggish and clumsy, and may affect your speech, and make you feel confused. Your breathing may also slow down, and your skin may feel “tingly”.
Frostnip and frostbite usually begin with a reddening and numbness or pain in the skin, usually in the extremities such as the fingers, toes, and nose/ears. If you have poor blood circulation, you may be at an increased risk of frostnip/bite.
- Know When It’s Just Not Safe To Exercise Outdoors
Even the most seasoned athletes recognize when it’s not safe to exercise in brutal weather conditions. If the wind chill puts temperatures below 0°F (-17°C), exposed skin could be at risk of frostbite developing in as little as 30 minutes to an hour.
And if it’s extremely windy and rainy, you may also want to consider skipping your outdoor workout. Rain will chill you about 25x faster than air – so even in milder conditions, try to avoid working out in the rain.
Stay Warm (And Safe) Out There!
Cold weather doesn’t have to stop you from training. So follow these helpful tips to prepare yourself for working out in chilly conditions – and get ready to take on the ice, snow, and rain!